By J.T. O'Donnell Generational differences is a topic that everyone has heard of, especially, when the topic turns to the youngest generation in the workforce, a.k.a. Gen Y. This group has gotten a lot of media attention - mostly for their attention-getting ways. Terms like 'lazy,' 'entitled,' and 'immature' have come to define them among many management teams. Well, like any group, there are some bad apples. And yes, I've met a fair share of Gen Y where the 'y' stood for "YIKES!" But, I'm happy to say, I personally know of Gen Y teams where the 'y' stands for "YES!" Let me explain... The internship program I've developed at the University of New Hampshire is one of the business projects I've enjoyed most in the last few years. Besides gaining valuable insight about the job seekers we are trying to help (they are exactly who the site is intended to serve, so who better to help build it?), they also bring an energy and humor to the job that makes work fun. Honestly, one of the best parts of my week the last few months have been our Friday meetings. Since it's an unpaid internship, I buy them lunch and we sit around and have some of the most interesting conversations...it's given me some insight into what to expect when my kids get to be that age. And when it comes to these smart, polite and determined young professionals, I can only hope my two end up like them. This spring, we expanded our program and had 12 (yep 12!) interns working in various teams. I don't need to tell you how they performed because you can look at the site and see they did a rock solid job. I don't think it's a coincidence that our site traffic has TRIPLED since January. So now, I'd like to introduce you to some true talent. ATTENTION EMPLOYERS: if you are looking to get the best bang for your buck out of an entry-level candidate, I'd suggest you contact someone on this list. I'm available to provide detailed references on each of them. And for any managers who are thinking, "Hmmmm. How can I start one of those internship programs for my company?" - contact me. I consult companies on launching and maintaining strong internship programs. Let me show you how to turn students and grads in to valuable talent. And any students or recent grads who are thinking, "Hmmmm. How do I get a virtual internship with CAREEREALISM.com?" - be sure to apply for our summer 'twinternship.' It's open to applicants nationwide. All you need is internet access.
May 08, 2009